Day II – March 20
Not the first: it’s been looking a lot like morning the previous 3 times I woke up, but by now it looks noonish, that bright, and my watch tells me it’s ok to actually get out. The breakfast buffet is open till 10am so I’ve got a good hour to explore it.
Pancakes, omelets, toast with jam and marmalade, yogurt and fruit salad, but also an assortment of fried rice, noodles etc; the more local breakfast. I’m sticking to a little light continental, as having breakfast is pretty hard for me anyway. I try the coffee that is more like wish-wash and the juice, which is actually lemonade, and a very, very sweet one at that.
Before we leave for a city tour I sit myself down by the pool to make a first attempt at a tan. I so love the feeling of the warm touch of the sun on my skin. But 10 minutes in this one, and I’m done for.
4) my hand fan
I discover a big itch in my throat. Could be the cold that’s been lingering to come out for days. It’s more likely to be the city though. I don’t smell the rubber as bad anymore, but I’m guessing that’s not a good thing.
Still “What/why the hell am I doing this?!” flashes though my mind well regularly.
It stopped when Claire and I went for a walk yesterday and there was so much to distract me. But as soon as I sit still, they cage down on me.
I had some stuff to take care of to get my Vietnamese visa in order and then they completely freaked me out. Even reading through Lonely Planet scares me a bit…
I think if someone opened a wormhole for me now, saying I could go home if I should want to, I’d step right through.
Yesterday I went over a day’s budget already. I’m starting to get quite concerned I still won’t make it.
And by the time we get on a boat to take a tour and discover Bangkok some more, all doubts and fears are completely forgotten and I just sit and soak it all in happily; how all the little thrown-together homes hang over the water and each other, here and there making way for a pagoda or a huge office or hotel.
Sit steers us into a little alley across the water from Wat Arun, where we just climbed some dangerous stairs, and together we decide on a food cart. This one specialized in padthai, and it is the best. Padthai. EVER! But to be honest it is my first.
Sit gets us a fruit platter and someone exclaimed “Mango!” and someone else takes a bite and said “No, it’s papaya.” and no one is going to get why this is funny, but it made me laugh, and maybe one day when you’re watching Lord of the Rings again you’ll get it.
After that it was time to get to the station and board the sleepertrain to Chiang Mai.
This is the first time ever for me not to have any Dutch-speaking company. Fine with me! But funny thing is that I’ve already started two sentences in Dutch, because I wanted to say something bystanders couldn’t hear, or just out of habit, and maybe because I’m getting tired and the English doesn’t come completely effortless, especially as I’m still trying to keep up that British accent.
Sit had this little joke with me. He speaks a little Dutch; a friend of his is a Dutchman who moved to Chiang Mai. And he kept explaining us talking in that weird language to the others by saying “You speak Thai very well.”
At 10pm I tug myself in to my bottom bunkbed in the bumpy but very well cooled train, now rolling at a steady tempo up Thailand’s pitch-black flatlands. So I’m hoping this early night will make for another early morning and that the sun will be there to show me the beautiful north.
Another thing occurred to me today. I mentioned the boy I left behind. I told him not to wait for me, I made him promise he wouldn’t, and that he’d go out etc. Well what if he does, and finds himself another girl… This thing between us happened in less than the time I’ll spend being away. I’m not sure what I’ll want when I come back, but the idea of him being with someone else; no like…
[this was day 2 of my personal experience with G-Adventures: Northern Hilltribe Trekking, a 7 day trip starting and ending in Bangkok, taking you up to Thailands beautiful North and into the homes of the Karen tribe, which I booked through Kilroy Travel]